Then one day came the fabulous, wonderful, glorious news: a new television station was coming to Waco! Dad had made it clear that he would not buy us a tv until we could get two channels. Until the new station was built, there was only Channel 6. If the weather was right, you might get Channel 8 from Dallas, but as far as Dad was concerned, that didn’t count.
It seemed like forever until Channel 10 went on the air, but at long last the date was announced. Linda and I knew exactly where the new tv would go.
One day a truck pulled up in front of our house.
Dad climbed up on the roof. Mom didn’t want him to. The news was full of stories about men falling off roofs trying to put up antennas. I wanted to go up there with him, but Dad wouldn’t let me. I got to help by staying in the living room and yelling when we had the best signal as Dad turned the antenna.
The day that Channel 10 was to begin broadcasting finally arrived. Linda and I couldn’t wait. As soon as we were awake we turned on the tv.
“Kids,” Mom said, “the newspaper says it won’t go on the air until noon. It’s 8 o’clock in the morning. Why don’t you turn on Channel 6 and watch an actual show?”
Maybe the paper is wrong. Maybe something will come on before then. If you stare at something long enough, funny things happen to your eyes. I swear that test pattern started to move, I could even see colors.
Then, after what seemed like forever, the test pattern disappeared. The tv sprang to life! What would the first show be? Maybe it would be Superman.
I’d settle for Gunsmoke, but I hoped, hoped, hoped it would be Superman.
It wasn’t Superman. It wasn’t Gunsmoke or Dragnet or even I Love Lucy. It was something called “Ten Acres,” with some farmer talking about growing stuff. Really? Linda and I couldn’t believe it. We watched that stupid test pattern all morning waiting for a show for farmers? It lasted 15 minutes. Then the test pattern came back on.
Mom just laughed.